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If you loved your mix last month.....

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Interesting how we do grow as mixers isn`t it?


I listen to mixes from years ago and I hear all of the bad things but then I listen to more current mixes and realize I have improved dramatically. Specifically in the bottom end. Bass is much more lower and in the mix and working with not against the drums, especially the kick.


Also, vocals sound much more natural and there is better use of the stereo field.

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I agree about the first mix thing to a point. I've had that more with the first take in tracking, when the song is still fresh, and the emotion is heartfelt. I've had a few " what was I thinking" from the first mix. The thing that I wrestle with the most is separating the frequencies so each instrument truly finds its own niche. The more instruments, the more cramming - so too the need to separate each one. If you listen to Nora Jones, three things are done well: lead vocal always natural and relaxed (big down the middle like Nat King Cole), sparse instrumentation so each instrument stands on its own ( like in Don Was production on "Caught in the Nick OF Time" ), and thirdly, easy to listen to (too much compression can be tiring on the ears).


I'm now learning to be more judicious with compression. There are some tunes on the radio that are punchy and bright but sound "digitised" from the compression affecting lead vocals - losing that natural quality. In the end, the average listener listens to the song, with mood and emotion felt - conveyed by a good performance and resulting mix.


The kick might add to the groove, but I think most listeners aren't too aware of the kick - well maybe Vinnie C. with Sting! - but it's mostly the singer and the song. Fields Of Varley has a great rim shot sound, nylon guitar, warm patch

simple ending etc, and it all works - all because it's a fab song. Eva Cassidy does it solo w. guitar - no extras - because a great song can work without the extras too .


Michael Hart

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Hmmm, similar to me the other night. I was playing back a song from my first and only completed CD and "wrote" in a new guitar part. The riff I did back then was really smoking, the one I wrote the other night just really flowed nice yet still added the right vibe! Funny how I accidentally flubbed the old part and came up with the newer part. I'd guess my mixing has follwed the same way. I accidentally comped my vocal a bit too much and got some jive going on!

It really has to do with the fact that we're always trying to improve ourselves! So of course we'd find a better, quicker, cooler way to mix something we've done. It's nature.

If Bruce was going to remix Thriller, I wonder what he'd do different??? Cool thread, nice to not have any spamming or trolling floating around. :P

Smile if you're not wearin panties.
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The 'thing' about the mix is that you can have a hundred different versions of a mix and it is still the same song... So there is always a balance of finding a mix that you attach to the song.. and leave it at that. OR... is it the thing that can always be re-done... like a new arrangement....

I tend to think that sometimes you have to just make a decision and move on. As someone already pointed out... it is a performance that captures a moment in time... but on the other hand... it is also the thing that imortalises the captured performance... kinda like embalming... you have to make sure the process is right and that you have done it properly otherwise the object wont be preserved properly..

So there you go... we are all hi-tech taxidermists!

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